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Game Hints: Rockman 4

Story: This game is the first Rockman game to feature an extensive prologue. In it, the origins of Rockman are revealed. It also includes a nice sequence in which Rockman rides a train (on top, of course) to the site of his battle. Some of the coolest music in the series accompanies this sequence, until we see the title screen.
The story this time: Gee, now that Dr. Wily has been defeated for real, what's a warrior super-robot to do? Well, not to worry; a year after the destruction of Gamma, a mysterious message arrives from Dr. Cossack, who is slightly upset that his inventions have been overlooked while Dr. Light has been hailed as the greatest robot designer of all time. To rectify this misconception, Dr. Cossack sends eight of his most powerful robots to destroy Rockman (isn't it strange that he should choose that number?)
Rockman heads for the battle again, this time armed with a new version of his plasma buster--the Rock Buster.
Also new to the game is Eddie, Dr. Light's "cybernetic suitcase" who will appear from time to time to throw power-ups to Rockman. It is a rule of thumb that Eddie will give Rockman a weapons energy when he is low on life, a life energy when he is low on weapons, an extra life when he already has 9, and an energy tank when he already has nine.

Robot Masters
Here it is again: Rockman has no sense, and so he fights the Robot Masters in the dumbest order possible (actually, it could be worse):

Bright Man
Pharaoh Man
Drill Man
Ring Man
Toad Man
Dust Man
Dive Man
Skull Man

Of course, you--the player--are smarter than Rockman. So you know that the best order to fight the Robot Masters in is this:

Toad Man
Bright Man
Pharaoh Man
Ring Man
Dust Man
Skull Man
Dive Man
Drill Man

So, without further ado, here are the Robot Master strategies.

Toad Man
Weapon
: Rain Flush
Strategy: Toad Man is easy to defeat once you find his pattern. Otherwise, he'll be trouble. All you really need to do is keep hitting him. When he leaps, get out of his way. If you keep nailing him with the Mega Buster, he won't get a chance to use his Rain Flush. If you have enough life, let him do it-- it's kind of funny to watch his weird hula dance. Victory will bring you his Rain Flush (which is almost as good as the original) and the Rush Marine Adaptor.

Bright Man
Weapon
: Flash Stopper
Strategy: Bright Man is one of the most difficult Robot Masters if you don't use the Rain Flush. Your best bet is to jump his plasma bursts and return fire with the Rain Flush. Beware: if it comes to a choice between getting hit by the plasma bursts and getting hit by Bright Man himself, take the plasma. Getting hit by Bright Man will take off a considerable amount.

Pharaoh Man
Weapon
: Pharaoh Shot
Strategy: On Pharaoh Man's level, near the beginning you can find the Balloon Adaptor. Near the beginning, there is a drop that takes you to the next part of the level. If Rockman uses the Rush Coil to leap across the pit, there is more of the stage, and at the end of the screen is a small box with the letter "B" printed on it. Using the Balloon Adaptor will allow Rockman to travel upwards for a short time: basically, it's Item 1 from Rockman 2, but animated better.
With the Flash Stopper, this guy is a snap! As long as you keep hitting him, you'll stay alive. Without the Time Stopper, it isn't too hard to kill him. Use the Mega Buster and hit him while he's charging up and leap his crescent-shaped blasts. Be careful of his leaps and you'll be okay.

Ring Man
Weapon
: Ring Boomerang
Strategy: Ring Man's most dangrous aspect is the return of his boomerang. Charge up the Pharaoh Shot to blast away at this guys, and avoid his Ring Boomerang on both its return shot and its initial attack.
Dust Man
Weapon
: Dust Crusher
Strategy: The Dust Crusher is unique in that it splits into four pieces after traveling a certain distance. If you can determine what the exact distance is, Rockman can jump into the air and avoid the split pieces of the Dust Crusher. When Dust Man holds out his arms, he'll suck everything in room towards him. In this mode, he he invincible, so don't bother trying to hit him. Victory will bring you the Dust Crusher.
Skull Man
Weapon
: Skull Shield
Strategy: Here it is: the obligatory "Robot Master with a shield weapon." While his Skull Shield is up, Skull Man in invincible, unless oyu use the Ring Boomerang to hit him.. Jump his plasma shots while it's down, and hit him with the Dust Crusher to obtain the Skull Shield.

Dive Man
Weapon
: Dive Missiles
Strategy: On Dive Man's level, the Wire Adaptor can be found. After the midpoint of the level, right after you have defeated the Whale Mecha, there is a deep pit at the left side of the screen. Leap down it--be careful of the spikes!--and you will land of the Wire Adaptor. If you press up on the control pad and fire while equipped with the Wire Adaptor, a large wire will extend to the ceiling and pull Rockman up with it. It proves quite useful later on.
Dive Man is a real horror to fight against if you don't have the Skull Shield. If you do, leap him when he charges Rockman in his missile configuration. Use the Skull Shield while Rockman is standing right next to him. If you're careful, you can acquire the Dive Missiles.

Drill Man
Weapon
: Drill Bombs
Strategy: Geez! What a pain in the rear! Keep jumping to avoid being hit by Drill Man when he tunnels through the ground, and use the Dive Missiles to chase him down. Even with the missiles, you may need to use an tank.
Defeating Drill Man will also bring you the Rush Jet Adaptor, completing Rockman's arsenal.

Siberian Citadel

Finally! A fortress to storm other than Skull Castle!
First Guardian: Mining 'Bot
Strategy: Keep your distance from this guy and use the Dust Crusher or Drill Bombs on his red focus crystal (the only vulnerable part) to destroy him. Be careful not to be caught under his excavation tool when it drops, and don't fall down the pits he creates.

Second Guardian: Armored Cube
Strategy: The best idea on this maniac is to slide under the moving sections when they speed by. Keep the Skull Shield on, until after you've gotten inside the armored exterior and up onto one of the moving piston-platforms. Switch to Dust Crusher or Drill Bombs to shoot the focus crystal in this guardian.

Third Guardian: Wall Cancer
Strategy: Use the Ring Boomarang or the Drill Bomb to defeat this robot (it's not that difficult) and continue on to Dr. Cossack!


Dr. Cossack:

Use the Dust Crusher (the weapon that turns you gray and white) on his mech, and be careful to avoid his gripping claw that drops down (shown above) from the underside of his saucer-like mech (isn't that strange that he should choose a shape like that?)
But wait! Once you get hs life bar down to four bars, Blues teleports in with a girl dressed in quaint, if unbelieveable, Russian costume! What's this . . . ?
Kalinka, as the girl is called, pleads for Rockman not to hurt her father any more. She explains that Dr. Wily kidnapped her and forced her father to fight against Rockman. What a surprise! Just as Dr. Cossack leaps out of his mech to apologize for the trouble he's caused, Dr. Wily teleports in expressly to announce that Blues betrayed him. He then threatens to "break" Rockman (not very threatening) and disappears into his saucer, where he does the obligatory "eyebrows thing" for no aparent reason.

Skull Castle
First Guardian: This is nothing more than a gargantuan metool. Avoid its devastating leaps and hit it a few times with the charged Rock Buster or the Ring Boomerang, and this huge Hard Hat Mac is history.

Second Guardian: Slightly harder to defeat than the big metool, this is still nothing to worry about. Avoid the fireballs and bouncing bombs this giant mechanoid throws while hitting the green focus crystal on its forehead with the Ring Boomerang. Just a few shots will send this steel monstrosity back to the junkyard.

Teleport Hatches

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Dr. Wily
First Form: Use the charged Mega Buster or Dust Crusher. Stand right in front of the giant skull machine and hit it in the mouth after it has fired its triad of mega-plasma bursts.
Second Form: Use the Wire Adaptor to hit the green focus crystal on the front of the machine, or fire the Drill Bombs and detonate them just before they hit (otherwise, they'll bounce off).
Third Form: Fill up your Pharaoh Shot weapon energy before you go in.
When you meet Wily, be sure to listen to the incredibly cool music. Hit him with the charged Pharaoh Shot (when he's visible) and be careful--he moves randomly around the room, and is difficult to track.

Ending

When Wily is defeated, he will do his amazing "bowing down" thing again. This time, however, he will make a dash for a secret escape hatch and leave as his lab self-destructs. This ending features a cool skull-shaped mushroom cloud hovering over the blasted remains of his lab. Of course, Rockman escapes just in time, passing the smoking saucer that bears Wily away to grander schemes (and a sequel). Then Rockman, helmetless, rides the train back to his house, where he meets Roll and Rush.
The music as the credits roll is a disappointment: it's a repeat of the Rockman 2 theme. Still, it's juiced up, and it's cool to hear another version of it.

Overall Ratings (scale of 1-10)
Difficulty: 6
Graphics: 7
Game Play: 7
Ending: 5

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